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Tip of the Week: How to Remotely Wipe Your iPhone or iPad
With the new iPhone 6 release just a few short weeks ago, many users are excited to ditch their old devices and get the flexible new piece of hardware. Unfortunately, these users might not take into account that their phones could potentially hold private information which should be deleted before forking over the device.
This is a real possibility that all business owners have to take into account when dealing with employees who use their devices for work. Employees don’t take into account how much work information is actually stored on their devices. Even something like a client’s email password could lead to a security breach or an explosion of spam. Fortunately, unlike the Android Device Manager, Apple has made the process for wiping their mobile devices easy to locate and straightforward.
Step 1: Backup the Device’s Data
The first step toward securely wiping your business’s Apple devices is to backup any important data which is found on them. With iOS, it’s easy to do this. All you need is a PC or Mac with iTunes or iCloud installed. iOS 7 users can check the status of their backup data by going through Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup, while iOS 8 users can check by going through Settings > iCloud > Backup.
Step 2: Wiping the Device
After backing up your data, it’s time to wipe the device. To do this, tap Settings > General > Reset. Choose Erase All Content and Settings. This will delete whatever is on the device and restore it to factory defaults.
Of course, none of this helps if your iPhone or iPad is missing. Whether it was stolen from you or simply misplaced, you don’t want a hacker or anyone else getting their grimy hands on your company’s sensitive data. You can bet that if someone finds your missing iPhone or iPad, they’ll try to either use it for their own purposes, or extract information from it. Whatever they decide to use it for, you can bet it spells trouble for you.
Step 3: Locate Your Device
Before you go ahead and wipe your data, try to locate the missing device. Through the iCloud, you can have your iPhone and iPad play a sound, potentially revealing where it is. Despite the embarrassment of not being able to find the device under your couch or in a desk drawer, you’ll be relieved to find that the device isn’t in the hands of a hacker.
If your device isn’t within arms-reach, you can attempt to locate it with the iCloud feature Find My iPhone. However, this only works if the device is turned on and within range of a WiFi network so it is limited what can be done. If the device can be located, you’ll know the approximate location and when it was last detected online. You can also set Find My iPhone to inform you the next time it comes online, pinpointing its location.
Step 4: Erase Your Device
If you’re absolutely sure you can’t locate the device, you can remotely erase the device through the iCloud. However, you want to make sure you can’t find it before doing so, as the process can’t be halted once it begins, and you won’t be able to locate the device with the Find My iPhone feature.
To erase your device, all you need to do is select the device that is registered to your Apple ID, and click Erase. You’ll need to enter in your Apple password. If the device is online, the formatting will begin immediately. Otherwise, it’ll wait until the next time the device goes online.
Being able to remotely erase your mobile device can save your personal information, and valuable credentials from your business, from falling into the hands of hackers. For more tips on how to stay productive and safe with your mobile devices, contact SemTech IT Solutions at 407-830-1434.